Ionic satellite fountain is a satellite monitoring fountain: an installation that builds a subjective link between Earth and the satellite sphere.





An fountain is installed outside of the exhibition building, in a water pool. It is made up of six controllable water jets, each one positioned to receive radio transmissions from a part of the sky. The angle of the jets is also controllable. A computer runs a software that predicts passes of satellites over the installation site. When an interesting satellite passes by, the most appropriated nozzle is turned on and positioned to maximize radio reception.

Each nozzle is connected to radio, which tunes the frequency of the passing satellite and outputs the audio to a headphone inside the exhibition. A small OLED screen, 2 inches in width, announces the time of the next pass to the public. The interval between passes varies between 5 minutes and one hour.



The satellite fishing fountain is a development of an ongoing artistic research on satellites and the connections they establish between heavens and earth, sensorial and visible, man and space. The project started as a video documentary about satellite hackers and evolved to the concept of artificial astrology – a transcendental vision of the influence of these devices in our lives.

The concept of the fountain begins with the investigation on ham satellites and the hardware they use. It turns out that some radio hams use long pipes filled with salt water as antennas. Salt water is a highly conductive medium that, being liquid, can be molded into different shapes. I couldn’t help noticing the poetic potential of proposing water as the interface support between Earth and heavens.

Decorative water has been use for ages in gardens designed by the Arabs and by other cultures. Besides, the use of water in these contexts conveys already a heavenly connection, since it serves religious purposes as ablations and the creation of environments for meditation. In other cultures such as afro-Brazilian religions, salt – with or without water – is the transcendental element that works, among other things, as an “unclogger”. Salt water solutions, baths in the sea, placement of salt in specific parts of the house are all popular recipes to unload bad vibes and negative energies.

Creating an animated fountain that uses saltwater jets as antennas is for me a thought provoking concept that aggregates several elements of my investigation on the transcendence of the satellites. In moment when the space age comes to end, with the closure of the shuttle program and no new developments in view, the satellite belt around the Earth has been established as the definitive limit of our civilization. Strolling around at this borderline, they provide us a connection to the beyond. The fountain proposes a sonic and visual representation of this connection.